PESHAWAR: Private schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have rejected the proposal phased-wise closure of educational institutions as part of extended winter vacations from November 24 to stem the spread of coronavirus.

A committee has been set up to devise future course of action and it has been decided to take help from political and religious parties, lawyers, religious seminaries and civil society if the government decided to impose its recommendations.

In this regard, a meeting of the provincial cabinet of the Private Education Network was held in Peshawar on Thursday which was chaired by Muhammad Saleem Khan. General Secretary Anas Takreem, members Private Schools Regulatory Authority (PSRA) Amjid Ali Shah, Fazlullah Daudzai and others attended the meeting.

Participants of the meeting thoroughly discussed the government proposals about closure of schools. It was unanimously decided that the private education sector cannot afford further closure. They said they will go to any extent in opposition to the government’s forced closure of schools. It was decided that a delegation of Private Education Network will meet Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Shahram Khan Tarakai today (Friday) to inform him about the reservations of private schools.

The meeting also discussed possible financial losses to educational institutions in case these were closed again. A committee was formed to hold negotiations with lawyers, civil society and Wafaqul Madaris to convince them on the point of view of private educational institutions.

Media reports on Thursday said the Federal Education Ministry in its recommendations has suggested that educational institutions in the whole country must be closed from November 24 till January 31 in phases.

The proposals shared with provincial governments suggested that the primary schools must be closed from November 24, middle schools from December 02 and higher secondary schools from December 15. Teachers must ensure their attendance and make preparations for online classes. Arrangements must also be made for tele-school.

It is further proposed that the education session must be extended to May 31 and matriculation and intermediate exams may be taken in June 2021.

Final decision on the proposals will be taken at November 23 meeting of federal and provincial ministers of education.

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